If you’re ready to start the adoption process, then you know it’s time for you to find an adoption professional. If you’re anxious to get started finding the right professional, you can click here. But if you’re wanting to know a little more about what you should be looking for, keep reading!
Adoption Agency Vs. Adoption Attorney
Ah, the great debate when it comes to being a hopeful adoptive parent: should you choose an adoption agency or an adoption attorney to guide you through your adoption journey? Keep in mind there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s about weighing the pros and cons and deciding which option will make you more comfortable as you progress down the road of growing your family. Let’s explore each option.
An adoption agency is a private organization that can help facilitate adoptions for hopeful adoptive parents. They can be for-profit or nonprofit businesses. They are an all-in-one option for families wanting to adopt because they can offer you so many services. Typically an adoption agency is made up of social workers, counselors, and then they often partner with others that are necessary for your adoption journey, like adoption marketers. Every agency will vary slightly in services and pricing. You’ll need to reach out to agencies for a consultation.
The great thing about working with an agency is that they can help you through each step of your adoption journey. They should know all the answers to your questions and help provide counseling throughout your family planning. Many agencies offer parental education through their agency, which can be helpful if that’s required for you by your resident state.
Agencies can also be incredibly helpful for birth parents before and after adoption. Social workers there are trained to counsel birth parents through this difficult process. Social workers are also available to help birth parents choose the family for a birth parent’s child.
When you choose a private adoption (if it’s legal in your state), you are going to notice that it will likely cost less than using an agency. This is because adoption attorneys don’t help with many of the other tasks that an agency does. You’ll likely not find many adoption attorneys that will help you find a match or provide a home study for you. Adoption attorneys are mostly there to complete legal paperwork and ensure that your adoption is ethical and legal. So you’ll have to find other adoption service providers and make sure that you get the necessary requirements filled by them. Finding these services could lessen the cost for your adoption, but it’s not likely to be as convenient as using an agency.
Using an adoption attorney is a great idea if you already have a potential birth parent matched with you. This is what would be considered a private adoption. However, keep in mind that some states do not allow you to have private adoptions and instead must be completed by an adoption agency.
Choosing A Professional
Whether you decide to work with an adoption agency or attorney, you need to ask them some questions to make sure you’ve found the professional right for you.
- Can your adoption professional answer all your questions?
- Does your adoption professional help potential birth mothers with resources and counseling?
- Will your adoption professional help all adoption triad members in the future?
- What is the average wait time before a couple is matched with a potential birth parent?
- How many families does your adoption professional work with?
- How many placements has your adoption professional completed in a year?
- What are the fees and how do they work?
- What is your adoption professional’s protocol for birth parent expenses?
- What is your adoption professional’s opinion on open adoption?
- How is your adoption professional’s communication skills?
Asking these questions before choosing an adoption professional can save you a lot of confusion and hurt down the road. Your adoption professional is the guide in your adoption journey and you don’t want to choose the wrong one because you were in a hurry. Thoroughness will only help you on your journey.
Another thing to keep in mind as you go through the adoption professional selection process is making sure your choice is qualified for the type of adoption you are pursuing. If you are wanting to adopt your stepchild, you don’t need to work through an agency, but an attorney may be invaluable on your journey. If you choose international adoption, you must work through an agency as required by the Hauge convention. If you are hoping to adopt through foster care, you can work with an agency or lawyer, as long as they are qualified for the legal procedure foster adoption entails. A domestic infant adoption can also be completed through an agency or attorney.